www.cbr.com

Marvel's Weapon X Just Made the X-Men Change We've Been Waiting For

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Weapon X #27, from Greg Pak, Fred van Lente, Luca Pizzari, Antonio Alburquerque, Roberto Di Salvo, Ibrahim Roberson, Frank D'Armata and VC's Chris Eliopolous, in stores now.

Throughout the X-Men's history, there have been numerous villains to sit atop the list as the most despicable of the lot. Apocalypse, Sinister, Cassandra Nova, Dark Phoenix, Juggernaut, the Sentinels and, of course, Magneto, are a few that come to mind. But there's one particularly rabid and vicious enemy in the bunch, as well -- Wolverine's arch-nemesis, Sabretooth.

Not only has he been a thorn in the X-Men's side, he's also feuded with the Avengers from time to time. Of course, all that changed with Axis, an even which turned Victor Creed into a hero. Alas, in Weapon X #27, his days of redemption are over, as reverts to his villainous instincts once more.

RELATED: Marvel Just Gave A Long-Standing X-Men Villain A MAJOR Upgrade

Recently, Sabretooth has been going through an emotional rollercoaster, with his evil persona gnawing at his soul like a drug addict. It's a Jekyll-and-Hyde syndrome, but he's managed to subdue it. Nonetheless, he's felt it's a ticking time bomb, one which has been in the back of his mind since Axis. He was one of the few villains-turned-heroes who didn't have the "inversion" process reversed, and so Sabretooth tried to pay tribute to his former nemesis, Wolverine, by becoming the opposite of what Weapon X wanted them to be -- a hero.

He joined the Avengers Unity Division, partnered with Old Man Logan to shut down the Weapon H project, and teamed up in this book with Domino, Deadpool, Mystique, Monet, Deathstrike and Omega Red in order to protect mutantkind from those who want them dead. Now, it's a mission with the latter group, known as Weapon X-Force, that proves to be Sabretooth's downfall.

RELATED: Weapon X-Force's Full Team Lineup Is Revealed

After finding out Reverend Stryker made a demonic pact and levelled up in power, Weapon X-Force attempts to stop his cult in a lair in Aspen, Colorado. Stryker's being aided by the powerful psychic Mentallo, and even after the squad kills Stryker's physical form, his followers find a way to resurrect him. They're sacrificing themselves in a blood ritual, all while Sabretooth's posse enter Hell thanks to the demon Azazel so they can kill Stryker's soul there and stop this revival.

Sadly, Victor finds his son Graydon in Hell and wants to save him, too. He instructs the team to head back to the real world to stop the ritual while he tries to bring Graydon out. In the end, though, Sabretooth is forced to leave his son behind. He does so, but Mentallo uses his full range of psychic powers to unleash the real Sabretooth. When the feral being tries to kill Mentallo, though, he falls into the murder machine meant for the sacrifices, and his soul descends into Hell due to the villain;'s past misdeeds.

On his way down, just as Stryker's gloating as he passes him by, Sabretooth decapitates the preacher. We then realize Sabretooth's actually sacrificing himself as part of a deal to ensure Graydon's soul reenters the land of the living. And so, Graydon is found by Weapon X-Force, right after Deathstrike kills Mentallo, and the entire cult disbands.

But it doesn't feel like a victory without their leader, who's now a mindless beast again in Azazel's presence. Not interested in this version of Sabretooth, he opens a portal from Hell and allows him to return to the snowy wilderness, eager to see Victor shed blood as a villain once more, and earn his way back to Hell in an even nastier, bloodier way.

RELATED: Pak & Van Lente Unpack Sabretooth's Weapon X Promotion

It's sadistic on Azazel's part, but it's sure to create an interesting dynamic for all those who recently worked with Sabretooth as a hero, from the X-Men to Magneto to the Avengers, and, of course, Weapon X-Force. It seems likely Graydon will try to use them to rescue him, but with Wolverine resurrected, too, they better make a move sooner rather than later.

EXCLUSIVE: House of X #1 Preview Reveals a Whole New World for the X-Men

More in CBR Exclusives